In Which I Troll a Bit –


In a now-famous tweet, philosopher Peter Boghossian made a rather bizzare argument: apparently 3rd wave feminists have smelly feet and are out of shape, or something like that.

It’s fun to watch Boghossian’s feed now, especially if you like pictures of hunky muscled-up 3rd wave feminists, because several of them have posted selfies in response.

He has, since, walked it back a bit, which is understandable given that his tweet was pretty stupid. I responded in my own way, immediately. But I didn’t say anything because I was hoping for a “thank you” or perhaps an “LOL” or something. That’ll teach me not to have high expectations. Here was my response:

A physical “tu quoque” (lightly edited actual screenshot from amazon.com)

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I’m not very impressed with Boghossian’s philosophical acumen; he should have seen how his statement was sure to elicit a variety of negative responses. In terms of strategy, I can only see it as “asking for an ass-kicking” (which several commenters on his time-line appear to be offering in veiled terms)  It’s the kind of “Land War in Asia” blunder I’ve come to associate with Richard Dawkins, so Boghossian is in good company there.

I will probably have to do an “Argument Clinic” posting regarding some of Boghossian’s Blunders but I’m not sure how long it will take for me to work up enough GAF. But he’s remarkably sloppy for someone who condescends to try to teach strategy.

Let me say it here first in hope that eventually some musician uses it in a song: “I’ve got Amazon Prime, motherfucker! You don’t mess with someone like that!”

PS – I’m not fond of labels but I suppose I am a 3rd wave intersectional feminist if someone wants to slap that label on me. I’m aging but hardly physically feeble and I’d like establish that if Boghossian ever wants to arm wrestle or perhaps race up the Eiffel Tower stairs, he can have his seconds contact mine. But, first, he should take a good look at the guy in the mirror.

Comments

  1. Hj Hornbeck says

    BWAHAHAHAHA, oh to see the look on his face…

    I’m not fond of labels but I suppose I am a 3rd wave intersectional feminist if someone wants to slap that label on me.

    To be pedantic, that translates into “a feminist who started their activism in the 90’s and endorses the concept of intersectionality.” The “waves” are just temporal and say nothing about your beliefs: bell hooks is a second-wave feminist even though her views are closer to the typical third-wave feminist, and Sojournor Truth is still first-wave even though she’s aware of intersectionality.

    But most people and even some feminists forget that, and equivocate between “third-wave” and “intersectional.” Not a huge deal, but it’s a handy bit of trivia to invoke at parties.

  2. says

    Hj Hornbeck@#1:
    Thanks for clarifying! I never did understand the whole “waves” thing and, as per my usual method, I prefer to avoid labels and deal with details. I believe a whole set of things; perhaps some of those are 2nd wave and some are not – and my beliefs are shifting constantly, as one’s do when one thinks.

    The concept of intersectionality has been mind-altering for me; I think it’s the best way to explain things to us ageing white guys. Seeing a philosopher, like Boghossian, trying to mis-characterize practitioners of a particular mode of thinking is really really sad.

  3. says

    I also would have loved to see the look on his face when he received this gift.

    This tweet is ad hominem. Although the argument is stupid even in the context. The idea was that weak men use feminism to get laid. They are what can be compared to “sneaky fuckers” among certain animal species; they quickly sneak in the harem and have sex while the big muscular alpha male is busy and looking away. This argument is stupid as well. Unlike certain animals, human females don’t pick men primarily based on their muscle mass. “Not being a jerk” is a lot more important than being muscular.

    The beginning of the first date:
    He, “I believe that women are inherently inferior and less valuable than men. They are emotional and unable to reason and think logically. Their correct place is in the kitchen with babies. If they choose to work they deserve smaller salaries than men. Men are entitled to get sex whenever and from whichever woman they want. I will sexually abuse and rape you whenever I want, regardless of how you feel about it. Besides, your consent is irrelevant anyway, like I said, I’m entitled to your body by birthright.”
    She, “Goodbye.” Gets up and leaves immediately.

    This pickup line isn’t going to work even for the most muscular and handsome guy. It’s pretty hard to get laid if you are a misogynistic, selfish jerk with an unjustified sense of entitlement. It’s hard to start (let alone maintain) relationships without treating your partner well. And being a sexist, by definition, means that the guy is willing to mistreat his female partner.

    he should have seen how his statement was sure to elicit a variety of negative responses. In terms of strategy, I can only see it as “asking for an ass-kicking”

    Whether this is true or not depends on the audience. The Internet is full with sexist jerks who like this kind of tweets and who support this. And not just the Internet. I have met plenty of such specimens in real life as well. I was about 15 when a complete stranger groped my butt on the street for the first time. And I could make a long list with instances of sexism I have experienced. So I’m not buying the idea that everything is great in terms of gender equality in this world.

  4. says

    Ieva Skrebele@#3:
    This tweet is ad hominem. Although the argument is stupid even in the context.

    Yes, it’s incredibly sloppy. It’s sort of “generalized ad hominem” rather than specific hominem, so he probably thought he’d get away with it.

    He, “I believe that women are inherently inferior and less valuable than men. They are emotional and unable to reason and think logically. Their correct place is in the kitchen with babies. If they choose to work they deserve smaller salaries than men. Men are entitled to get sex whenever and from whichever woman they want. I will sexually abuse and rape you whenever I want, regardless of how you feel about it. Besides, your consent is irrelevant anyway, like I said, I’m entitled to your body by birthright.”

    … and they wonder why they are “incel”s.

  5. says

    … and they wonder why they are “incel”s.

    Often. But not necessarily. There are ways how to get laid even while being a jerk:

    1. Marry a woman who is indoctrinated that God wants her to obey her husband and be a housewife.
    2. Find a woman who is vulnerable (loneliness, depression, bad financial situation, no place to stay etc.).
    3. Hide the fact that you are a sexist. Just keep your mouth shut and don’t talk about gender equality.
    4. Sugarcoat your words. “Women are too emotional and unable to think rationally” sounds bad. “Women tend to trust their emotions and have a gift of empathy” means the same, but sounds more palatable. That’s how we get all those “gentlemen” who keep talking about how men must care for, provide and protect women. (Provide because…? Oh, yeah, because those same men are unwilling to pay them equal salary in the first place. Protect from whom? Other male members of the rape culture they are contributing to.)

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